Government and Public Health

Digital storytelling is an art-based research method that involves the creation of a short video (3-5 minutes) integrating multimedia materials like photos, people’s voices, drawings, and music. It has a great potential to elucidate complex narratives in a compelling manner, increase participant engagement, and enhance the meaning of research findings.

Social media and ASSET

Nowadays, social media is an increasingly common and integral part of all people's lives. In ASSET theory and practice about social media have been explored extensively over the four years of work (2014-2017). It has been done by studying to what extent epidemic or pandemic preparedness and response are covered by contents shared on the main social network platforms. Specific studies have been developed such as analysing the social accounts and profiles of relevant pharmaceutical companies. 

One of the six parallel sessions at the ASSET Final Event (Rome; 30-31 October 2017) dealt with gender issues, while one presentation was specifically about women and science.

Gender bias is powerful and insidious. It is an expression of unequal distribution of power within societies and of the low value placed on women's work and contributions to public life. Recent reports of sexual harassment and assault of women by men in powerful positions have regalvanised solidarity around women's rights, and remind us that disadvantage, discrimination, and sexism are a regular part of the lived experience of many women. These reflect broader and unjustified inequalities between men and women that have persisted across time, culture, and geography. That disadvantages exist for women in science, medicine, and global health is thus unsurprising—and yet wholly unacceptable. The renewed visibility of women in these areas, such as the Twitter campaign #allmalepanel, offer hope for change.

Policy facts

The editorial entitled Dangerous words published on The Lancet starts stating that “Medicine is underpinned by both art and science. Art that relies upon strong therapeutic relationships with patients and populations. And science that brings statistical rigour to clinical and public health practice”. This statement introduces the decision of Trump administration to ban words like health equity, vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based from government documents for the US$7 billion budget discussions about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Based on the collection of best practices on this platform, ASSET experts prepared a document outlining the guidelines of civil society involvement in public health projects.

There are a number of groups that are especially vulnerable in terms of susceptibility to influenza and barriers to accessing vaccinations. This may lead to larger problems in case of a pandemic; for example, in the H1N1 2009 outbreak in Australia, indigenous Australians, a hard to reach group, were overrepresented in rates of hospitalisation (Seale et al 2010). Hard to reach groups may have adverse health outcomes, and the complex interplay of gender and social and economic marginalisation makes this a particular issue for women (Davidson et al 2011).

In order to improve the effectiveness of the Best Practice Platform, a few interviews to the coordinators of some of the initiatives have been uploaded on the database. These interviews add further information about the European Immunization Week (EIW)Immuniser Lyon, the French Citizen Consultation on Vaccination, and the Health mediation program in Bulgaria. 

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MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Engaging all of Europe in shaping a desirable and sustainable future
Expect the unexpected and know how to respond
Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Solutions to improve CBRNe resilience
Network for Communicable Disease Control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Countries
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
Strengthening of the national surveillance system for communicable diseases
Surveillance of vaccine preventable hepatitis
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
European network for highly infectious disease
Dedicated surveillance network for surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases in the EU
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Addressing chronic diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Get involved in the responsible marine research and innovation
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Promote vaccinations among migrant population in Europe
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improve the quality of indoor air, keeping it free from radon
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Investigating how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence